10 February 2014

I use Grammarly's grammar and plagiarism checker because you never know what dinner might turn out to be when there are errors in the recipe!

You are getting a "twofer" today!  A great recipe and a cookbook review.  I don't do cookbook reviews very often, but I have found a new favorite cookbook and I really want to share it with you.  In the Fall of 2012 I checked it out from the library, and marked so many recipes that I wanted to try (66 in fact!), that I added it to my Christmas list and my husband got it for me.  Unfortunately, I didn't use the cookbook at all the first year I had it.  Right after Christmas my husband accepted a new job and we moved from Michigan to Wisconsin.  So between packing in January and unpacking in February, my soup cookbook got forgotten.  Until last month.  I saw it sitting on the shelf, and since we are most definitely in soup season again, I opened that baby up and made a resolution to make one recipe from it every week.  

The great book I am talking about is Soup of the Day: 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year by Kate McMillan.

This book has 365 different soup recipes.  One for each day of the year.  I love how it lists the recipes by specific calendar day, because they use produce that is in season at that time.  So you can always pick a soup that is seasonally appropriate.  And they are really great recipes.  They are not your boring, run-of-the-mill soup recipes that you've seen a million times over.  They are very unique.  Many of them are meatless veggie soups, which I love.  They make awesome Meatless Monday meals with some yummy bread.  I have also tried some of the soups with meat and they are great too.

The 66 recipes I have bookmarked.

 There is a monthly index at the beginning of each month.

 This photo doesn't do it justice, but the pictures in here are simply stunning.

Today I am sharing with you the very first recipe I tried from this cookbook.  We loved it!  It's a pureed carrot soup with the flavors of ginger and coriander, made super creamy with the addition of coconut milk, and topped with crunchy curried almonds.  Incredible!

Carrot and Coconut Soup with Curried Almonds

1½ tsp sugar, divided
1¼ tsp salt, divided
1 tbsp plus ½ tsp coriander, divided
½ tsp curry powder
4 tbsp plus 1½ tsp olive oil, divided
½ cup sliced almonds
½ large onion, chopped
2 lbs. carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp ground ginger
4 cups vegetable broth
2 (14 oz.) cans unsweetened coconut milk

In a small bowl, mix ½ tsp sugar, ¼ tsp salt, ½ tsp coriander, and the curry powder.  Set aside.

Heat 1½ tsp oil in a small skillet.  Add 1 tbsp water and the remaining 1 tsp sugar.  Stir together and bring to a boil.  Stir in the almonds, coating them with the liquid.  Cook for about 45 seconds, or until the liquid has almost evaporated.  Remove from the heat.  Pour the spice mixture over the almonds and toss to coat.  Spread them out in a single layer on parchment paper to cool.

Heat remaining 4 tbsp oil in a large soup pot.  Add the onion, carrots, ginger, and remaining 1 tbsp coriander.  Saute vegetables over low heat until they are softened.  Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.

Purée soup using an immersion blender until smooth. Stir in one can of the coconut milk, reserving some for serving. Add remaining 1 tsp of salt. Serve garnished with the spiced nuts and a swirl of coconut milk.

Makes 6-8 servings.

This soup was a huge hit with my family.  The creaminess coming from the coconut milk was perfect as my little one is allergic to dairy and I am lactose intolerant.  So I tend to shy away from soups that have cream added at the end to make them creamy.  This was perfect, not only for making it creamy, but also giving it a slightly sweet coconutty flavor.  Awesome.

My three-year-old, Eva, saw the pic of this soup as I was writing this, and asked if we could have it again tonight for dinner.  That's a pretty good sign!

Other soups that I have made from this cookbook so far are Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Soup, Ham, Bean and Escarole Soup, Sausage and Lentil Soup, and Turkey and White Bean Chili.  They were all really good.  Tonight I am trying the Savory Barley and Wild Mushroom Soup.

So if you are looking to try some new great soups, I highly recommend this book!  The same author has another book, One Pot of the Day, which contains a great one-pot meal for every day of the year. That one is number one on my wish list!

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for reviewing this cookbook. I just really like it and wanted to tell you about it.  I was however, compensated for mentioning Grammarly at the top of my post.  I do think it's a really valuable resource and highly recommend it.  All opinions are my own.

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